The Grey Isle Tale - now available!

Wednesday, February 1, 2017

How to Write & Publish - notes for the road

How to Write & Publish

By Ryan P. Freeman

Hey all, here's my notes for my 2017 Author Tour! Along the way, I'll be stopping at one college and three high schools, talking with students about what it takes to Write & Publish. My goal is to empower new writers to finish their stories and get them published. Without further ado, here's my rundown:

- About Me

How to Write

- Getting Your Story
            - Vision and Feel

- Pantsers Vs Plotters

- Write!
            - Write what you really, honestly love
            - “Writing is easy, all you have to do is sit down and bleed.” – Hemingway
            - Addressing the voice of doubt
            - Where-How: 1k words/day x 6days/week x 3mo = finished manuscript
            - Take a Break

- Feed Your Imagination
            - Read (Know what good stories are like by immersing yourself in them)
            - Travel
            - Explore
             - Join Writers Groups

- Beta Readers

- When is your story finished?

How to Publish (begin PR)
- Different Publishing Routes
            - Traditional
            - Indie
            - Small Press
            - Self-Publishing

- Design
            - Formatting
            - Feel/Physical size

- Finding a Cover Artist

- Day-of-Publishing
            -launch event

- PR (Keep Writing!)

- Write!
- Feed Your Imagination
- Publishing
 - PR
- ‘Make Good Art’
- Questions! – Get to it!
- Join Writers Groups in your Area

Thursday, October 13, 2016

Breaking NEWS!

If you haven't seen already...

I've got a brand new


Behold it in all its glory here:


(thank you, yet again, to Jennie Kelly and my various contributing concept artists!)


I've started a super-cool new YouTube series called  
Ryan Talks 
- where I blather on about what it takes to write Fantasy.
Feel free to subscribe! 

(That is all.)

Wednesday, August 31, 2016

The Great Chase

The Great Chase

Why Friendship and Joy-Chasing are Essential for

A Life Well-Lived


In lieu of the increasing fans (like you),

here's a new post!

I'm not really sure what to write. It happens more often than not, actually. What really kills me, though, is how I'll get these excellent writing moods... all the stars will align and a hallelujah chorus will shimmer down from above... and then I'll get distracted.


And no, before you bring it up - it's not all social media distractions, either. Life gets distracting. My mind just becomes all cluttered up sometimes. Lately, I've been without a car - which has been frustrated. I don't like always being stuck at home, and it can drive me up the walls. As a writer, and really just as a regular ol' human being, the ability to get out when the fancy takes you is essential. I'm sorry Emily Dickinson... but no... I have mad respect for you and all... but still no.

I guess what I'm trying to say is how I think really good writing is something which, barring a gift from fickle muses, comes out of life well-lived. Good-bad-ugly... but still life well-lived.

What makes for a well-lived life?

I'm no Marcus Aurelius, but I think CS Lewis was on to something when he writes about Joy-Chasing in his Surprised by Joy, and also in his Pilgrim's Regress. There are things you will find, uncovered within yourself - or introduced to you by others, which stir up a Longing inside. For me, they're things having to do with mythology, theatre, traveling, Autumn, the rain... It's funny, because a tell-tale sign that you're probably on the right track to identifying exactly what your Joy is - the harder it becomes to say exactly what IT is. - Like those who have tasted of the magical food from Faerie... after you've returned from the Perilous Land, you're always left wanting in a delightful sort of agony.

Lewis humbly suggested that what we want is not, perhaps, the Thing ITSELF, but the chase. So the next time something moves you, don't try to possess it. Merely enjoy it while it is, as it is, and then carry on. Keep IT secret - keep IT safe.

Another thing I think lends to a life well-lived are good friends. A man may be the poorest in the whole world, yet if he has genuine friends he is rich. Friendship is one of those things which lend to Life's sense of meaning and purpose. When you suddenly discover that the guy or girl over there likes the same thing you do... that same secret Joy... there is often a moment, whether spoken or not, where each thinks something like, 'What? You too?'.

- This same thing is partly how I first met my to-be wife, Steph... it's how I first met my esteemed friend (and fellow author) R.E. Dean... Friendship helps make us MORE. A Joy we may have inside remains only that one Joy, but when friendship allows people to share a Joy... its like light splitting through a prism into a million new possibilities we never could have come to on our own. Shared Joy via Friendship is like staring down from a great height... we see all the twists and turnings which could have taken us higher up and deeper in - and all the other paths which could have led us on... but our Journey would have been radically different. Thus, WE would be radically different, in turn.

What does any of this have to do with writing, though?

It has exactly, precisely to do with writing because when we finally do sit down and write, we are not just putting words on a page, but little pieces of us. This is not ink, nor mere pixels which you now read - but the confluence of hundreds of thousands of interlinking friendships formed over shared Joy-chasing. Each word is not only my own - but also immaculately blended bits and pieces of people I've known and loved from all over the world - living and departed.

And it's the same when you create something, too.

Whenever someone pours their heart and soul, time and energy - blood, sweat, and tears - into something beautiful - we see Life as Art. (Tolkien would call it 'Sub-creation')

In all your Joy-chasing - happy hunting. Write on! Read on!

- Ryan

Monday, August 15, 2016

On Chronological Snobbery

On Chronological Snobbery

(A Rant) 


When researching through mythology and history for my fantasy works, I think it's an important point to remember the dangers of Chronological Snobbery.

What is Chronological Snobbery?

Roughly, it is a term coined by Professor CS Lewis used to describe people who assume their time and culture are right and how others which came before are obviously wrong.

A good example of this is the general idea of Modern Progress, which has its distant roots grounded in The Renaissance and its nearer roots embedded with the Industrial Revolution.

Are we living in the greatest moment in all of Time? 
Isn't that a bit conceited to assume we are? 
What about other times and places?

Now, it could possibly be an easy route to take, in trying to say that oh, well since we don't live in 1548 or some such era, we can't very well say, either way, which has it better.
As my good friend, fellow author, and budding Medieval Historian, R.E. Dean would say (probably),

When you read old works, try and understand what the authors mean - not what you assume they might mean. One of the wonderful qualities of History is how it can tell us exactly what WAS witnessed, believed, and considered important. Professor Lewis, while remembered mainly for his outspokenly Christian-based fantasy and lay-man theological works, also wrote other things, too. 
(As a British Professor, he was sort of expected to, you know...)

In one of the other excellent books he wrote, On Words, Lewis explores the importance of how words are used through the ages, by following a few of them. By doing so, one can learn just how easily passages from Shakespeare to Caesar can be misread because linguistical context is misunderstood.

Will we always only read things 'correctly'? 
Is reading and understanding 'rightly' all there is to enjoying a good book?

(*rolls eyes) What do you think?

But the ideas and sentiments behind what is being recorded through History and Myth - the storied voices and mirrored Truths which other eyes witnessed and other hands now long turned to dust touched come to life. They rise like long shadows cast down through the years to illuminate our own modern history and everyday lives. When we read intelligently, we are not reading books. We are peering through another's eyes.

Good History does that. - It is not merely the analytical recording of tedious events, but second-life. When you pick up the Illiad, it's not assigned reading or something you're finally getting around to... You see the world as it was thousands of years ago. You're not learning dates, you're re-experiencing other people's lives, passed down through countless oral stories and translations, because what they saw and felt is important. Primal, even. And we're not too different from them, on a human level, either.

But only, if we continue to learn - and also think critically, with intelligence and an open mind.
To remain ignorant is to live in the Dark.


Other excellent reads relating to this rant include the following:

- Lies My Teacher Told Me
- The Book That Made Your World
- From Homer to Harry Potter
- The Discarded Image
- The Greek Way
- On Faerie Stories

Read On!
- Ryan

PS, my up-and-coming fantasy novel, Rienspel, releases THIS Halloween!!
(Don't worry, I'll keep you posted)

Tuesday, July 26, 2016

Firehall Beckons!

The Phoenix of Redd, Volume I: Rienspel

Coming this Halloween!

"What Rien discovers about his past will change his future…"

"Rien Sucat wiles his days away, bored-stiff in his small backwoods village. But soon gets more than he bargained for after he befriends a magical Phoenix, accidentally witnesses a secret necromantic ritual, and comes face to face with a league of racist, knife-wielding assassins out for his blood. Travel with Rien as he and the Phoenix journey from the unassuming Rillian village of Nyrgen through the enchanting depths of the Great Wood where the unquiet dead lurk, to the high north country of Firehall - elusive sanctuary of the Elves. Launch into an epic quest with consequences farther reaching than Rien could ever possibly imagine."
"Rienspel is about heart. It is about family and about how the power of love played out in everyday life often carries lasting consequences. Rien’s tale transcends the dim shadows of our own world by revealing the lingering power we all carry through how we live and treat others. It is a tale about the Story we all reside in which readers both young and young-at-heart will find compelling. As C.S. Lewis once penned for his colleague and friend J.R.R. Tolkien, so it is with Rienspel, ‘here are beauties which pierce like swords or burn like cold iron. Here is a story which will break your heart”… and re-forge it anew in Phoenix-fire."
- Available as ebook via Amazon and print-on-demand via Createspace Halloween, 2016.
In the meantime, check out Freeman's The Grey Isle Tale, now available on Amazon!

Thursday, July 14, 2016

The Question

The Question

As I continue writing, I find I'm feeling a bit of an emotional disconnect with my content. I don't know if that's a good or a bad thing. It simply is. See, writing Rienspel's sequel is hard. (I know, I know, I think I already covered this in a previous post...) I think it bares repeating and lamenting, though. I know others have told me emotional disconnect is a good thing when you're writing, because you can't be held hostage by it, in turn. However, the way I primarily Make Good Art is an intensely emotional, personal process most of the time. I sit down, write, and bleed. Especially when it comes to Rien and Rienspel. I realize first novels can be awfully stereotypical. Mine's no exception. It's a 3rd person omnipotent coming-of-age fantasy. Some would even fling the mewling complaint, "It's just wish-fulfillment"...

And yeah... it might be... but do you blame prisoners for wanting to be free? And yeah, I am projecting a bit... or at least I was... but we grow up (and if we're especially sharp, we keep growing, even later on). Rien is no longer me any more - and I am no longer him, either. We came to a forking path in the forest one day, and we both took our roads less traveled, in accordance to who we are. Our stories are leading us different ways... We are still brothers, for sure. We share many things and ways. But I'll be damned if somebody looks down their noses at us. We're both proud of what we are, whatever that is - whoever that is.

Yes, I realize he's a fictional character of my creation. It's a book I wrote which is currently sitting, locked in time and space, inside various computers and drives... But when you create something, when you use your heart and your mind, your soul and your love, I think you can bring something entirely MORE into the world for other people, in turn, to love and care and hope for too.

I envy Rien a lot. (yeah, I just used 'a lot' - it's me and it's how I actually talk). I love the idea of being able to wander The Great Forest in autumn time. I'm fascinated with hidden wonders and ruins of times long ago. I furiously believe Man was not meant to bide his days desk-bound - it wounds the soul. If you could forget your life - your consequences- your responsibilities - your upbringing's life assumptions- and simply BE and DO... what would you do? Who would you be?

This Question is the genesis of Rienspel.

It comes out this Halloween - the same night the first few pages take place in the story.

And whether you chose to ultimately read it or not, maybe your own deeper questions can find their voice, too. What question does your own heart and soul ask over and over again? Once you can put words to it - what will you do about it?


In the meantime, while you await the Fall release of Rienspel, and while I struggle on to write its' sequel, May the Sun Illumine You Path, and Light By Stars Where Else...

- Ryan


The Grey Isle Tale is now available on Amazon - Prince Janos and friends, likewise, have their own Questions to answer, too!

Monday, June 27, 2016

Coming this Halloween...

Releasing World-Wide October 31st, 2016!

What is Rienspel? There's a Phoenix?! Check out the 'Books' tab to read all about Ryan P Freeman's next up and coming novel!